Pet Peeve: When Sideboard Cards Don’t Show Up

So I played Magic: The Gathering this weekend at my locals. I participated in a really big tournament in particular (seven+ rounds with two full booster boxes as prize support for the top eight to split).

I did well at the tournament at first, but then I ended up losing three straight in my last three rounds, unfortunately.

In this type of trading card game, your “sideboard” becomes very important against trickier matchups. Basically, your sideboard has up to 15 “extra” cards you may choose to substitute or add toward you deck for your second/third game of a given tournament match. It is paramount in many cases because your main deck may or may not be suitable for combating your opponent’s deck strategy, so switching in the correct cards can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

My current sideboard consists of the following cards (though I am planning on altering the components a bit):

Fog x3
Naturalize x2
Pit Fight x3
Plummet x2
Ranger’s Guile x2
Wolfir Avenger x3

And of course, just because you sub in your sideboard cards, this does mean you necessarily will see said cards during games two/three of your match.

For instance, one particular opponent of mine today was playing a deck that revolved entirely around Archangel of Thune.

Archangel of Thune

Card Name: Archangel of Thune
Mana Cost: 3WhiteWhite
Converted Mana Cost: 5
Types: Creature — Angel
Card Text: Flying
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
Flavor Text: Even the wicked have nightmares.
P/T: 3 / 4

It is a powerful card, but my ghetto common called Plummet hard-counters it.



Card Name: Plummet
Mana Cost: 1Green
Converted Mana Cost: 2
Types: Instant
Card Text: Destroy target creature with flying.
Flavor Text: “Let nothing own the skies but the wind.”—Dejara, Giltwood druid

However, in this case of Plummet, I only have two to sideboard into my deck between matches. This means I have a 2/60 chance (0.03 percent) to draw them, let alone play them against my opponent.

So had I been able to pull Plummet in games two/three for this particular opponent, I definitely would have won for sure. I would have sent his angel to the ground the moment I saw her.

Alas, card games are all about variance anyway. They can be extremely fun, but sometimes Lady Luck, the “Heart of the Cards” or whatever you want to call it just doesn’t love you on certain days. As a result, you end up being the guy/gal who reaches out to shake your opponent’s hand to concede in the end. “GG” indeed.

Not seeing your sideboard cards for your additional matches is quite normal, albeit frustrating. After all, if a standard deck has 60 cards, your odds of drawing certain cards is always changing. Unless you have ways of fetching specific cards or effectively enhancing your card advantage, banking on statistics may be your only option as a player sometimes.

Maybe I just need to believe in my deck more?


6 thoughts on “Pet Peeve: When Sideboard Cards Don’t Show Up

  1. Joseph Stiller August 24, 2013 / 11:28 pm

    Hey Nhan, I’d love to see the decklist you attended the event with. I didn’t even realise you play mtg. We have something to chat about!


    • Nhan-Fiction August 25, 2013 / 11:10 am

      Oh, it’s just a mono Green deck. I’ll probably post the deck recipe up soon. ^^


  2. Aimer Shama August 25, 2013 / 6:17 am

    Sounds like something great to try out. It almost makes me want to find my mind. “Where’s my mind?”


  3. clariepie August 26, 2013 / 3:44 pm

    I play more limited than standard, but I hear you on the whole sideboard rant. I notice that I never seem to draw the perfect answers to my opponents bomb rares whether they are main-decked or side-boarded. I often times think the heart of the cards is to see how many times they can mana-flood or mana-screw me in any given FNM draft.


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